I remember being spanked, but I don’t remember for what. The lessons were lost!
My teacher was blissfully unaware that you cannot teach any lesson by spanking. What she did manage to teach is that it is acceptable to be a bully if you are bigger. And I always fantasised about becoming big – bigger than him – and beating him to pulp.
“Parents who beat up their kids are immature. They use it as an easy way to release pent up anger,” says leading psychologist Sanjay Chugh.
By spanking you teach the child that it is an acceptable way to express feelings and resolve problems. “One of the most strange things I’ve ever seen is the mother who spanks her child for hitting his sibling! Now, did that actually make any sense? Did it resolve anything,” asks Chugh.A child who is always exposed to insensitivity will eventually grow up to be an irresponsible person. It is better to motivate him by talking to him, elaborates Chugh.
But, often talking to the kid means abusing him. A lot of adults who do not beat up children, resort to verbal spanking. This can lead to long lasting emotional trauma and loss of self worth in children.
This does not mean children should not be disciplined. But there are ways and ways of doing it. The Sardar Patel School in Delhi organises interactive sessions in which children are encouraged to talk about their problems, fears and dreams. Perhaps this is a better mode of handling things. Let us know what do you think?